Amazon announces new features added to the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick
Well, now we know why the Apple TV rumor appeared: Amazon was set to announce new features for their own TV solutions, the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. It must be nice to have such compliment media partners.
One feature in the added to the Fire TV that I think is worth pointing out is the support for Bluetooth headphones. Bluetooth headphones are becoming increasingly popular and most receivers, while supporting Bluetooth input, don’t support Bluetooth going the other way. Additionally, this is a feature that I would not expect Apple to support – though it would definitely make be want to upgrade if they did.
Meanwhile, Apple continues to add new channels to Apple TV, today adding TED, Tastemade and Young Hollywood, after previously adding UFC, The Scene, Fusion and Daily Motion a few months ago. They will need more (and better) channels to lure cord cutters to sign up for any streaming service this summer. The most obvious, and requested ones, are major foreign outlets like the BBC (but France24, Al Jazeera and others would be nice, too).
SEATTLE, Wash. – March 24, 2015 — Amazon today announced new features are coming to the best-selling Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. These features will be delivered as part of a free, over-the-air software update in the coming weeks. Amazon also announced today that Fire TV Stick is now available in the UK and Germany, joining the #1-selling streaming media box, Amazon Fire TV.
“Customer response to Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick has been overwhelming—we’ve been working hard to build more of both as quickly as possible, and we’re excited to be adding new features we think customers will love,” said Peter Larsen, Vice President, Amazon Devices. “In the UK and Germany, Fire TV is already the best-selling streaming media box on Amazon, and we’re thrilled to be bringing our fastest-selling Amazon device ever—Fire TV Stick—to the UK and Germany. We think millions of customers in the UK and Germany are going to love this product.”
New features coming as part of the free, over-the-air software update include:
- Expandable USB storage on Amazon Fire TV—You can now use a connected USB mass storage device to expand your Fire TV storage for downloaded apps and games—this enables you to have more games downloaded for easy access.
- Connect to your hotel or dorm room Wi-Fi with captive portal support out of the box—Take your favorite movies, TV shows, games, and more with you away from home—Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick are the first streaming media devices to enable you to connect to Wi-Fi that requires web authentication—this includes Wi-Fi at most major hotels, as well as some universities.
- Private listening on Fire TV—Enjoy favorite movies and TV shows after the kids go to sleep, without worrying about waking them up. Support for wireless Bluetooth headphones to Fire TV lets you listen to your movie, TV show, or music without bothering others in your household.
- Browse and search Prime Playlists—Prime members can now take advantage of hand-crafted Prime Music playlists directly from Fire TV and Fire TV Stick—there are hundreds of expertly curated Prime Playlists to choose from based on your mood, activity or even artist or decade of choice.
- Hidden PIN entry—With the new PIN entry screen that hides the numbers selected, you can now make sure your kids (or freeloading friends) can’t see your device PIN as you enter it on-screen to confirm a purchase on Fire TV or Fire TV Stick.
- New shortcuts—Quickly put your Fire TV or Fire TV Stick to sleep or enable display mirroring by pressing and holding the Home button on your remote.
Fire TV and Fire TV Stick are available for purchase at www.amazon.com/firetv and www.amazon.com/firetvstick. Fire TV Stick is available to order starting today in the UK and Germany—it will start shipping on April 15. Learn more at www.amazon.co.uk/firetvstick and www.amazon.de/firetvstick.